It’s hard to beat a beautiful day. Sunshine makes everything better. I’m not sure if it’s the vitamin D, the fact that the humidity in the Mid-South has dropped below 100%, or simply the cooler temps… but life seems lighter with nice weather. As I started to think, “I wish every day were like this,” my wheels started to turn.
Summer in Cleveland, OH, is Memphis’s fall. This means that after this Southern girl survived a very vitamin D-deprived winter, she’s been blessed with a beautiful Cleveland summer followed by a beautiful (and mild) August and September in the Bluff City. This is my fourth month of beautiful weather. But nice weather doesn’t last forever.
What is it that can help keep our spirits up like a sunny day? What can we do to make a January day hopeful and light? In my mind, the answer is quite simple: words. Not just any words… but words that affirm, words that build up, words that pour courage into the soul.
Only the God of the universe could place the sun in the sky and tell it when and where to shine, but each of us has been given the ability to change someone’s countenance and outlook by our words. Our words are literally as powerful as the sun. Yet somehow, we often overlook this opportunity to change the atmosphere of the spaces we walk into.
See if this is true of you: There’s often a disconnect between what I want to hear and what I actually speak. I want someone to encourage me, but my first words might be to complain about something not going well or someone not living up to my expectations. I wish it weren’t true, but the words that get trapped in my mind are often the words of encouragement that need to get out; and the words I have trouble keeping in are the ones that criticize or tear down. Ugh. 😩
What if we truly focused on using the power we have to do good? It doesn’t require money. It hardly takes any time. Yet it can change someone’s belief about themselves… about God… about their circumstances. Could there ever be a higher return on investment? Let’s not waste the power we’ve been given to speak life and light into a world of darkness and death.
Just a few verses paint the picture of the power we have:
“The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver…” (Proverbs 10:20a)
“The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom…” (Proverbs 10:31a)
“But the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18b)
Scripture often contrasts the power of the tongue to bring life with the equal power to speak death. The verses above all go on to explain the power of destruction that’s possible if we don’t choose to use our tongues for good. I’ll focus on the second half of those verse in another post but go check them out.
We live in a fallen world. What if we each decided that we were going to say out loud all that we see that’s good? What if, when we walked into a store, a house, or a business, we decided to leave gifts of hope with our words?
Years ago, we had a Shout Out campaign. The testimonies were amazing! A barista that just needed to know she was seen. An adult son that heard dad say out loud that he believed in him. A husband that needed to hear he was appreciated.
Let’s make sure the sunshine lasts beyond a beautiful fall day.